Producer of the Month: Rufus Carter, The Patchwork Traditional Food Company, Wales
The Patchwork Traditional Food Company is a family business based in rural North Wales. Their most famous and popular product is its award-winning pâté. From chicken liver to game liver to vegetarian - each pâté is made using locally sourced produce and tastes sensational.
Rufus Carter is Managing Director of Patchwork, founded a quarter of a century ago in 1982 by his mother, Margaret. As an untrained home cook and single mother of three children, Margaret started the business by selling her home made pâtés to pubs in nearby Llangollen. She began attracting more and more customers and by 1987 she moved the business from her house to a purpose-equipped factory in Ruhin. Patchwork is now a local, national and internationally recognized and award winning producer of pâtés, tarts, pies and ice-creams. Yet everything is still hand-made in small batches, without artificial colouring, additives or preservatives, to Margaret's original recipes.
Rufus was recognised for his contribution to the Welsh Food Industry with his appointment in 2004 as True Taste Ambassador. In 2005, Insider Magazine awarded him with an Innovation award for his leadership style. He is passionate about the company's twin commitments to tradition and innovation.
- Why do you do what you do?
Because I am so proud to produce and market a product that I enjoy and consume daily at home.
- What achievement are you most proud of?
That we have helped to make British produced pâté fashionable. It is amazing to see the feedback on Facebook and Twitter, especially from the younger generation. It inspires us to keep producing award winning pâtés.
- What is your most memorable moment?
It has to be when I was appointed True Taste Ambassador in 2005.
- If you were Prime Minister, what one thing would you do to encourage more people to eat British Food?
I would lead by example and talk about British produce a lot and try and only consume British food.
What is your favourite food and why?
Homemade British beef burgers - Jamie Oliver's cracking burger recipe to be precise. Food you eat with your hands always tastes better somehow. Perhaps it brings out the inner cave-man…
- What are your predictions for the future of British food?
A return to using simple, British recipes - often ones that are passed down through families and friends. Welsh Rarebit the way your Granny used to make, or a simple Victoria sponge cake using a friend's trusted recipe. Dishes, even traditional British dishes, have become so complicated as TV executives push TV chefs to over complicate cooking for the sake of it.
- If you were an advertising executive what slogan would you use to promote British food?
Eat British Food, Eat what the French aspire to!
- Best budget tip?
Shop at your local butcher. It is cheaper and better.
- What's on the menu this evening?
I am cooking for 6 kids tonight so that's a great excuse to cook homemade British beef burgers and homemade chips. -
- How can people get hold of your produce?
Our factory Shop in Ruthin or patchwork-pate.co.uk for online shopping and store finder.